Via SFFILM Communications (SFFILM)
We’ve all heard the numbers. Even after top-grossing films like Wonder Woman and Frozen, the number of films directed by women has remained stagnant for more than two decades in Hollywood. And it’s no secret that women are “Leonardo DiCaprios” at the Oscars: of nearly 450 Best Director nominations, only five have been women. One has won.
Amy Adrion’s documentary Half the Picture takes a neccesary look at the state of cinema from the minority female filmmaker perspective. Shooting began in 2015 – before the Times Up movement, Harvey Weinstein, and the current investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) into the hiring practices in Hollywood.
In a Q&A after the screening at the San Francisco International Film Festival Saturday, the director said the revelations of the past year lifted the burden of proof in Half the Picture. It also afforded the interviews a kind of shorthand context in describing some of the biases in the industry today.
As a result, the Adrion is able to dive deeper in her insightful interviews with directors like Ava DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time), Penelope Spheeris (Wayne’s World), Jill Soloway (Transparent), Lena Dunham (Tiny Furniture, Girls) and more, as they echo each other’s thoughts on their careers, the challenges they face, and their hopes for the future.
Perhaps the most profoundly poignant moment came with the discussion of the implications for the world if we continue to only tell stories from one longheld, singular perspective (if you shed a tear at that part, you’re not alone. If you don’t, forget I said that).
The message to aspiring filmmakers in Adrion’s Half the Picture is clear: it’s not easy but it’s so, so much fun. And if these women have done it, so can you.
This film was screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival. For tickets and information, visit sffilm.org.